Much Mansion Money and Tea

Dear Friends,
How did the other half live – the half whose summer mansions were opened for precious months, maybe just weeks out of the year? I’ve just returned from a whirlwind Newport, Rhode Island mansion tour. I would answer the question this way – they LIVED. Gilded walls, marble staircases, tapestry-covered walls  – they LIVED. Did endless wealth showcased in opulent behemoth vacation homes make these folks smile every morning? I couldn’t say. Only ‘they’ could have answered this query honestly.

Many of their family tree roots have since grown deep, watered with wealth. Some have donated much. Others have sold plenty. A wonderful, silver-haired tour guide, whose face was deeply etched with lines of history jokingly remarked, “A fourteen-year-old Anderson Cooper was left a large Newport home and seventy-one million dollars by an Aunt. What fourteen-year-old can live on seventy-one million?”

rosecliffMy favorite mansion was not actually a mansion, but a replica of a twelfth-century Song Dynasty temple in the backyard of Marble House – called the Chinese Tea House. In the late 1800’s, Alva Vanderbilt hosted rallies for women’s suffrage in this lovely structure by the sea.

tearoomInspired by the charming tea room, I created a lovely creature I’d enjoy sipping tea with-

Tea Cap

Tea Cap

Thank you and goodnight. May you dream of sipping delicious tea by the glorious ocean at sunset.


12 thoughts on “Much Mansion Money and Tea

  1. More than absurd, isn’t it???? We came back from Sanibel/Captiva, Fl and always wonder how these two Homes we call The White House, are lived in. Perhaps a winter residence for the stupidly mega-wealthy. How lives in these what apprears to be a 25 room 35 bath “home”? Not me….I couldn’t even afford the garage space.


  2. He does look like he would double up as a cup hook too.Love your creatures, a bit frightened of your brain however. Kidding. there must be lots of creative mixing going on in there. 🙂


  3. When all is said and done, I think I’d rather have tea with that lovely creature of yours who looks in all likelihood more sincere than all those wealthies who used to live in Newport. 🙂 My husband and I visited Newport several years ago, and it was beautiful (as a former tennis player, I especially enjoyed the tennis hall of fame). And poor Anderson — oh my gosh, I didn’t know he’d inherited all that! Wow!


    • Those mansions are absolutely insane – the walls literally dripped with over-the-top wealth…crazy…
      It was a great few days though…I wondered about the Tennis Hall of Fame. We passed it several times going back and forth to the mansions.
      The tour guide in Marble House was quite entertaining with his historic trivia. I give Anderson Cooper much credit for working a job…
      AnnMarie 🙂


      • Yes, I thought about Anderson Cooper after I read your blog. I give him credit, too, for going into war-torn countries and being one of the first at disasters … and he could just sit back and enjoy his money! So I think he’s probably a really solid kind of guy. Enjoyed reading about Newport — made me remember our trip there!


      • A person who doesn’t have to work but chooses to is to be respected – he does come across as decent and kind.
        I’d like to go back and visit all the ‘smaller’ mansions next time – maybe ones I could afford 😉
        AnnMarie 🙂


  4. She is adorable, AnnMarie, and may come to tea with me whenever she wishes! (I have always said if I won the lottery I would send all my friends’ children to college, and hire my good friend who is a hairdresser to do my hair every day.)


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